Armed Forces Day Quotes

In the United States, Armed Forces Day is celebrated on the third Saturday in May. This was created in 1949 to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard – following the consolidation of the military services in the Department of Defense.

I've included a special military appreciation tribute video to express my heartfelt "Thanks" to all of the service members who have served our country.

Please remember that special service member in your life, and let them know how much you appreciate all of their sacrifices.

Armed Forces Day Index

Air Force
Armed Forces Day
Coast Guard
Freedom Isn’t Free Poem
Related Links

Military Appreciation Tribute Video

I've included a beautiful video paying tribute to the military with the Freedom Isn't Free poem being read.

Very touching! Feel free to share with any servicemember or veteran.

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Air Force

"If our air forces are never used, they have achieved their finest goal."
~ General Nathan F. Twining, 31 March 1956

"Not to have an adequate air force in the present state of the world is to compromise the foundations of national freedom and independence."
~ Winston Churchill

"Though I fly through the valley of death I shall fear no evil for I am at 20,000 feet and climbing."
~ Anonymous

"Air power may either end war or end civilization."
~ Winston Churchill

"We're going to bomb them back into the stone Age."
~ General Curtis E. LeMay, USAF

"Integrity First
Service Before Self
Excellence in All We Do
~ US Air Force Core Values

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"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!"
~ Maya Angelou

"I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks."
~ William Shakespeare

"No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another. Thank you."
~ Unknown

"We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude."
~ Cynthia Ozick

"At home and abroad, military men and women are showing purpose and dedication in defending American ideas. They are performing in our country's best traditions under circumstances both difficult and complex. Thanks to their determined spirit of patriotism and professionalism, our country has a powerful and unified defense team, employing its forces in the constant quest for peace and freedom."
~ The Honorable Melvin Laird, 1972
Former Secretary of Defense

"...Their contribution to our freedom and safety is measureless. Our national security depends on the maintenance of alert military forces as a deterrent to any possible aggressor."
~ President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964

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Armed Forces Day

"The support of an informed American people is increasingly important to the Armed Forces in these days of rapid technological advance, quick reaction time, and grave threat to our freedom. I, therefore, encourage members of the DoD to observe Armed Forces Day by informing the American people of our 'Power for Peace' and by confirming their faith that in our strength we will remain free."
~ The Honorable Robert S. McNamara, 1962
Former Secretary of Defense

"Armed Forces Day, above all, honors the dedicated individuals who wear the uniforms of their country. Each serviceman, wherever he may be, whatever his task, contributes directly and importantly to the defense of the nation. The task of each one is the task of all the Armed Forces: to protect the freedoms which underlie the greatness of America."
~ General Earle G. Wheeler, 1967
Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff

Armed Forces Day this year should serve to emphasize the practical application of unification in action, and to remind us of the continued need for unity in our Armed Forces and among all of our citizens in the interests of security and peace.
~ Robert D. Lovett

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"The reason the American Army does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the American Army practices it on a daily basis."
~ from a post-war debriefing of a German General

"Army: A body of men assembled to rectify the mistakes of the diplomats."
~ Josephus Daniels

"Being in the army is like being in the Boy Scouts, except that the Boy Scouts have adult supervision."
~ Blake Clark

"If the enemy is in range, so are you. -Infantry JournalCoffee tastes better if the latrines are dug downstream from an encampment."
~ US Army Field Regulations, 1861

"This We'll Defend."
~ Army Motto

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Coast Guard

"The U.S. Coast Guard is a shining example of how well a Federal agency can perform with its flexibility, speed, and expertise."
~ Representative Russ Carnahan, D-MO

"The Coast Guard has long been known as the armed service that gets more done for less."
~ Howard Coble

"I think in the wake of Katrina, the Coast Guard may well have been the only entity or agency that came out of that exercise free of fault and free of blame."
~ Howard Coble

"I am America's Maritime Guardian.
I serve the citizens of the United States.
I will protect them.
I will defend them.
I will save them.
I am their Shield.
For them I am Semper Paratus.
I live the Coast Guard Core Values.
I am a Guardian.
We are the United States Coast Guard.
~ The Guardian Ethos

"Semper Paratus: Always Ready, Always Prepared."
~ Coast Guard Motto

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"Freedom isn't free."
~ Anonymous

"Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free."
~ Dwight D. Eisenhower

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
~ Thomas Jefferson

"Freedom makes a huge requirement of every human being. With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry is own weight, this is a frightening prospect."
~ Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of happiness is freedom, and the secret of freedom, courage."
~ Thucydides

"Freedom is a system based on courage."
~ Charles Peguy

"For those who have fought for it, freedom has a flavor the protected will never know."
~ Unknown

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Freedom Isn't Free Poem

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young soldier saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many Pilots' planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No Freedom isn't free

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant "Amen"
When a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard at the
bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.....
No -- Freedom isn't free!!

~ Cadet Major Kelly Strong
Air Force Junior ROTC

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"Where liberty is, there is my country."
~ Benjamin Franklin

"It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you."
~ Author unknown, sometimes attributed to M. Grundler

"From time to time, the tree of liberty must be watered with the blood of tyrants and patriots."
~ Thomas Jefferson

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"Some people live an entire lifetime and wonder if they have ever made a difference in the world, but the Marines don't have that problem."
~ Ronald Reagan

"A ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."
~ Admiral David D. Porter, USN

"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
~ Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945

"Now I recall the Recon Marines ragged, filthy cammie shirted young men in green paint who move silent like the fog with deadly purpose in their eyes. Swift, Silent, Deadly. I smile."
~ GYSGT Correll, USMC, Retired-- Recon Marine

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
~ General John "Black Jack" Pershing, U.S. Army

"The Marine Corps has just been called by the New York Times, 'The elite of this country.' I think it is the elite of the world."
~ Admiral William Halsey, U.S. Navy

"Semper Fidelis: Always Faithful."
~ Marines Motto

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"It is the function of the Navy to carry the war to the enemy, so that it will not be fought on U.S. soil."
~ Fleet Adm. Chester Nimitz

"The reason that the American Navy does so well in wartime, is that war is chaos, and the Americans practice chaos on a daily basis."
~ Adm. Karl Doenitz, of the German Kriegsmarine

"A good Navy is not a provocation to war. It is the surest guaranty of peace."
~ President Theodore Roosevelt

"The Navy has both a tradition and a future--and we look with pride and confidence in both directions."
~ Adm. George Anderson, CNO, August 1, 1961

"Events of October 1962 indicated, as they had all through history, that control of the sea means security. Control of the seas can mean peace. Control of the seas can mean victory. The United States must control the seas if it is to protect your security...."
~ President John F. Kennedy

"It follows then as certain as night succeeds day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and that with it everything honorable and glorious."
~ George Washington

"Honor, Courage, Commitment"
~ US Navy Core Values

"The only easy day was yesterday."
~ US Navy Seals Motto

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